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The Little Clay Cart

by King Shudraka

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The Little Clay Cart (Mrcchakatika) may have been written by King Shudraka although nothing is known about him. This play has been translated from the original Sanskrit and Prakrits by Arthur Ryder. "ACT I., entitled The Gems are left Behind. Evening of the first day.--After the prologue, Charudatta, who is within his house, converses with his friend Maitreya, and deplores his poverty. While they are speaking, Vasantasena appears in the street outside. She is pursued by the courtier and Sansthanaka; the latter makes her degrading offers of his love, which she indignantly rejects. Charudatta sends Maitreya from the house to offer sacrifice, and through the open door Vasantasena slips unobserved into the house. Maitreya returns after an altercation with Sansthanaka, and recognizes Vasantasena. Vasantasena leaves a casket of gems in the house for safe keeping and returns to her home.

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King Shudraka

Shudraka was an Indian king, playwright and novelist. Three Sanskrit plays are ascribed to him - Mricchakatika (The Little Clay Cart),Vinavasavadatta, and a bhana (short one-act monologue), Padmaprabhritaka.Sudraka has been identified as the pen name of an Abhira king from the third century CE, either Indranigupta, or Shivadatta, father of Ishvarasena.

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